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Dear reader,

With most shocks from the first quarter of 2017 settling into our memories, we take a moment to assess where we are and what the future could hold.
Donald Trump’s first one hundred days have come and gone, and with fairly little to show for it. Western populism continues to threaten the post-World War 2 global economic structures, barring a welcome relief in the form of France’s Presidential elections; however, given the current state of play it’s likely to further drive global protectionism, exchanging short term gains for long term growth.

In view of this gloomy international scene, we also consider the one space where exchanges are free, innovation is thriving and markets operate in global competition, the internet. As states’ portcullises are being readied for the expected wave of populist protectionism, data exchanges continue to flow regardless. They can take our taxes, but they can never take our browsers!… just don’t tell them that.

Domestically South Africa is going through the same motions. The majority of the private sector, political opposition parties and some members within the governing party are unhappy with the current state of politics. But with no sign of change in the winds we can expect more patrimonial looting with the occasional bone thrown to the calm the swelling ranks of the unemployed.

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Populism on the rise: What are the costs?

Populism on the rise: What are the costs?

Author: Andreas Freytag

In the second part of Tutwa’s mini-series, Populism on the rise, the focus falls on the consequences of populism for society and its economic welfare. What are the economic development phases of populism and what are the expected spillover effects? Andreas Freytag looks at three cases of past populist movements and their policies to assess the economic costs of populism.

Towards the next frontier: Industry 4.0 and e-commerce

Towards the next frontier: Industry 4.0 and e-commerce

Authors: Heinrich Krogman and Nkululeko Khumalo

 Conversations about the fourth industrial revolution often revolve around the negative impacts thereof and how woefully unprepared we are, but there is more to the story than pure creative destruction. Based on our recent internal seminar this summary blog, by Heinrich Krogman and Nkululeko Khumalo, considers the impacts and opportunities of the 4th industrial revolution.

Best of three scenarios for world trade

Best of three scenarios for world trade

Author: Razeen Sally 

With the global trade slowdown, creeping protectionism and the failure of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) international trade is in trouble. Now, with the new Trump administration, the world faces a potential protectionist onslaught. Razeen Sally predicts three directions that international trade can take from this departure point.

South Africa’s Credit Downgrade: Creating a Roadmap for Recovery

South Africa’s Credit Downgrade: Creating a Roadmap for Recovery

Author: Mzukisi Qobo

South Africa has entered into new territory with the recent sovereign risk downgrades by S&P and Fitch, but how do we surf through these turbulent waters? Mzukisi Qobo sets out the current state of play, the powers at play in the ANC and the Tripartite Alliance, and the much-needed urgency for political change and economic reforms.

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